Have you ever wondered can university students get free prescriptions? The cost of prescriptions these days costs an arm and a leg. Even the average medical prescription cost will set you back £9.35 per prescription item in the UK. Counter medications cost just as much, leading many with medical conditions and no health insurance to seek financial support.
For university students in the U.K. saving money can be a top priority and getting free prescriptions isn’t going to be something you might be curious about. But can university students get free prescriptions in the UK?
There are a variety of ways that you can get your medications for free, depending on your circumstances.
In this helpful post, I’ll dig into the different options available to those of you enrolled at universities so you can find out how to get access to more affordable medication if needed and avoid out-of-pocket costs if possible.
So, before you head over to your student health services or whatever health care provider you use. There are a few options you need to know about so you can get full help without paying those hefty health costs, especially if you need regular medication (repeat prescription). Keep reading for all the details!
This post is all about answering the question: Can University Students get FREE Prescriptions?
CAN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS GET FREE PRESCRIPTIONS
Can university students get free prescriptions in the U.K?
The simple answer is yes!
If you are a student enrolled at a university in the United Kingdom, you may be eligible for free prescriptions. This includes both NHS and private prescriptions. You must meet certain criteria including being domiciled in England, having a valid student visa or having satisfied residency requirements.
You will also need to provide proof of enrollment at your university and evidence that you are currently paying tuition fees.
Once these criteria have been met, you can obtain free prescription drugs from any pharmacy or hospital in the U.K.
It is worth noting that this benefit only applies while studying in the U.K.; if you go abroad for part of your course then you will no longer qualify for free prescriptions during this period.
Also, it’s worth understanding that if you transfer universities during your degree programme then you will need to provide updated proof of enrolment to continue receiving free prescriptions.
After three years you have to re-apply
If your studies last longer than three years you will have to reapply for free prescriptions after this period has expired.
Overall you will need to meet all criteria and provide all necessary documents when applying for free prescriptions while at university in the U.K.
This is to ensure that you receive full access to this valuable benefit throughout your studies.
So you might be wondering what criteria you need to meet and what documents you need.
Read on to find out more!
How do I qualify for prescriptions?
In the UK, university students are eligible for free prescriptions if they are in full time education and meet their qualifying standards.
To qualify for free prescriptions, a student must be studying at an approved institution and have either:
● A valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate
● An HC2 or HC3 certificate from a Low Income Scheme (LIS)
Students who cannot provide proof of income but are still in full-time education may be able to get help with NHS charges through the Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC).
Prescription Pre-payment Certificate
The PPC allows people to buy multiple prescriptions over a 3-month or 12-month period without having to pay each time they go to the pharmacy.
It is important to note that some medicines prescribed on private prescriptions will not be covered by a PPC. So you may need to pay the prescription cost. it is important to check with your pharmacist before you make any payments.
Free dental treatment for Uni Students
So although most students will have to pay for any dental treatment they need, similar to general healthcare prescriptions, there is help available for those who qualify.
The NHS provides free dental treatment for full-time students aged 19 or over who receive certain benefits, such as:
● Income Support
● income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
● Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
● Universal Credit.
It’s worth contacting your dentist directly to find out if you qualify for these benefits and how to apply.
It is also wise to speak to a healthcare professional or contact the local NHS office if you have any other questions.
Can you get free prescriptions at Uni if you are pregnant?
Yes, it is possible to get free prescriptions at uni if you are pregnant.
If you are a student in higher education and receive either the Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance, then you may be eligible for exemption of prescription fees.
You should contact your local GP or pharmacy to arrange this. They will need to see proof of your pregnancy and any additional evidence required for you to be exempt from prescription charges. It is also worth checking with your university as they may have a system in place for getting free prescriptions while studying.
Ultimately, it is important to make sure that you are looking after yourself during pregnancy so don't hesitate to ask for help if needed! Good luck!
Can International Students get free prescriptions/ healthcare in the UK?
According to the Department of Health and Social Care, International Students have to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) as part of their application form to study in the UK.
However, they may be able to get a full or partial refund of the IHS, if their healthcare is paid for by an EU country (EU Students) or Switzerland.
The below table shows if you qualify for FREE PRESCRIPTIONS.
Proving ALL the following criteria are met:
International Students vs UK Students Criteria
EU Students or Switzerland Students
Visa started on or after 1st January 2021
European Healthcare Insurance Card (EHIC) issued in an EU country or Switzerland
You do not work
Valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate or HC2 or HC3 certificate
If you can’t access free prescriptions there are other options
It's also important to remember that there are various other options available for those who cannot access free prescriptions.
For instance, if you have a low income or do not receive any benefits from the government, you may be eligible for help from certain organisations and charities offering financial assistance with medical costs.
It’s best to have a chat with your local GP or pharmacist to find out more about any available options.
They will be able to provide detailed advice on the best way to start and can guide you through the process of obtaining assistance if necessary.
The NHS themselves have an NHS Low Income Scheme that you can apply to. Along with other online services where you can get help with the cost of NHS Treatment. Visit the NHS website to learn more.
Check out your uni website
If you're a uni student you can also find useful resources about managing health-related expenses on your Uni website, which may include further information regarding how to access free prescriptions.
Charities that may be able to help you
It’s also worth knowing several charities such as Prescription Services UK (PSUK) and the British Red Cross offer assistance with prescription medicine to those who meet their criteria.
If you would like more information about any of these services or how to apply for help, head over and check out their website.
“If you have a low income or do not receive any benefits from the government, you may be eligible for help from certain organisations and charities offering financial assistance with medical costs.”
So as you can see there are quite a few different ways to get help with the cost of your medicines
Make sure you explore all available options and check out advice from your GP or pharmacist as I mentioned earlier.
Remember, it is important to look after your health and seek medical attention when needed – don’t let financial difficulties stop you from taking care of yourself!
Don’t forget that being well-informed is essential to make sure you receive the best care possible.
With the help of these services, university students in the U.K. can stay healthy without breaking the bank.
Finally, it is important to remember that any application process could take some time and patience, but it could end up providing significant savings on essential medication costs when needed most!
If you're still unsure if you can get FREE Prescriptions or not, then use the NHS eligibility tracker to find out.
Final thoughts on Can University Students get Free Prescriptions...
All in all, know your options and do your research to make sure you are getting the best deal on prescriptions as a university student.
It is important to check eligibility requirements very carefully before applying for any assistance with NHS costs.
While the process may seem daunting at first, once you get into a groove it'll be a breeze!
Check back regularly to my blog for more regular posts on uni life hacks!